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Chester Zoo’s epic Christmas Lanterns event is returning this year

Get this in your diary!

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Chester Zoo/Facebook

Chester Zoo is full steam ahead with the planning of their Christmas events including the traditional lanterns show.

It is officially now 20 weeks until Christmas – if you blinked you might have missed this year.

Luckily, Chester Zoo has revealed plans for the after-hours event will be going ahead for the ninth year.

The trail sees illuminated wildlife, colourful lanterns and even enchanting costumed characters spread across 11 fantastical worlds, each completely different.

Chester Zoo/Facebook

This year’s event has been carefully planned to ensure all guests are safe and have a memorable Chester Zoo experience. 

You will start at Cactus Desert, welcomed by a world of colour and movement. The path is lit by glowing cacti, frogs and chameleon characters. Next up is Over the Rainbow followed by the dramatically stripy world of Zebra Grasslands and then the calming power of nature in Garden of Delight. 

This year also sees the return of the Underwater World which transports you to the bottom of the sea complete with a show-stopping octopus. 

Ticket sales for The Lanterns are vital for the survival of the zoo and its contributions to ending extinction.

Chester Zoo/Facebook

The coronavirus pandemic meant Chester Zoo had to shut for three months leaving a huge £5.5m scar on the finances. 

Head of guest experience at Chester Zoo, Jon Turley, said: “Events that help us to bring some additional income into our charity will be absolutely crucial in securing the future of our zoo and our species-saving work. That’s why we’re so, so excited to be able to bring The Lanterns back again this year.

“With safety and social distancing firmly at the forefront of our minds, far fewer tickets have been made available for our event this time around, which might just make it an even more magical experience for those who secure a ticket.

“We’re planning to transform the zoo into a spectacular winter wonderland, featuring 11 fantastical worlds.

“Guests will be welcomed into an exotic world of colour and movement, where larger than life illuminations and animal characters await. Making a return this year will be our popular ‘Underwater’ world, which will transport visitors to the bottom of the sea where they’ll discover a giant show-stopping octopus.”

He continued: “We’ve made a few adjustments so that there will be less physical interaction with visitors this time, but we’re sure that our array of never-before-seen features will ensure guests will make memories that last a lifetime.

“We can’t wait to welcome people back to The Lanterns, see lots of big smiles on faces and, at the same time, raise valuable funds so we can continue our mission of preventing extinction as a wildlife conservation charity.”

The Lanterns will be open from November 13th to December 23rd and tickets are available now, with prices starting at £16 for an adult and £13.50 for children.

Find out more here

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A massive cheese crawl is coming to Manchester next month

It doesn’t get feta than this!

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Finest Media

You can tour Manchester’s best cheese spots as part of a huge Cheese Crawl across the city! 

Calling all cheese-lovers, there’s a Manchester Cheese Crawl that takes you across town to the cheesiest spots in the city. 

It features two hours of non-stop cheese-related fun, including everything from blue cheese to cheese quizzes and competitions.



The event description reads: “Calling all curd nerds and turophiles – yep there’s a word for your love of cheese – Manchester’s finest cheeses are being wrapped up into one 2 hour walking tour!

“Get involved in Manchester’s first and grate-est cheese crawl! The crawl is 2 hours of non stop in-curd-edible action. There will be a cheese whizz quiz and of course a bit of wine.

“The crawl will be packed full of the finest of Manchester’s brie-liant cheeses, with very mature fun facts, and the chance to heckle your quizmaster with your favourite cheese puns that will have your group crumbling faster than a wensleydale.

“Meanwhile you’ll feta believe you’ll learn a bit about cheese making, and be introduced to some cheese mongers and shops you just camembert to stay away from. It’s a whole different kind of ‘cultured’.”

Northern Soul/Facebook

The Cheese Crawl starts in St Ann’s Square every Saturday at 12pm and 3pm, starting Saturday May 1st and running until September 25th.

You’ll wander across the city before ending up in the Northern Quarter, trying the finest cheese Manchester has to offer on the way.

Tickets cost just £25 and include cheese samples, optional bread and crackers, and some red wine – and you can grab them here.

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Dino Kingdom is bringing more than 100 animatronic, life-like dinosaurs to Manchester

Dinosaur fans won’t want to miss ‘Manchester’s biggest outdoor summer adventure’

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Dino Kingdom

This summer, from Friday July 23rd to Sunday August 8th, the team behind award-winning light and lantern festival Lightopia are bringing Dino Kingdom to Wythenshawe Park.

Dino Kingdom will be an epic outdoor, prehistoric exploration, with more than 100 life-like moving and roaring dinosaurs and creatures to uncover.

State-of-the-art 3D and AR technology will bring dinosaurs ‘back to life’, with unforgettable interactive experiences and thrilling fairground rides for all the family.

Dino Kingdom

During the summer holidays, Dino Kingdom will be a must-see attraction. Here you’ll meet and interact with more than 70 life-sized dinosaurs – including a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the biggest installation, the Apatosaurus, towering above at 18-metres long.

There will also be smaller dinosaurs to seek, including hatching babies and other interactive beastly beings amongst the woodland, including crocodiles, frogs, bees, spiders and much more.

Let your imagination run wild, in the ultimate family experience, as you trek through the prehistoric kingdom.

Dino Kingdom

Dino Kingdom

An educational experience as much as an adventure, it is perfect for those budding palaeontologists out there, with an excavation sand pit, dinosaur eggs, fossils, volcanoes, a giant dinosaur skeleton head and a walk-through fossil tunnel.

Dino Kingdom offers visitors an incredible journey of discovery and education through entertainment, from dozens of animatronic dinosaurs, 3D dinosaur projection mapping and fairground rides, to fun dino performances, hand puppets and costume characters, there’s something to entertain everyone.

Dinosaur trekkers can take a well-earned break and refuel with the wide offering of food and drink options and idyllic picnicking areas.

Dino Kingdom

Dino Kingdom

Dino Kingdom at Wythenshawe Park is happening from Friday July 23rd until Sunday August 8th 2021, and will be open from 11am till 7pm every day, with hourly entry slots.

Advance tickets are priced at £15 for adults, £13 for children (under 3s are free) and £52 for families of two adults and two children, concessions are priced at £14.

In even better news, you can sign up today to register for 25% off pre-sale ticket release – just head to the website here.

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Tickets for the ‘world’s most entertaining’ cycling festival are on sale now

This is no ordinary cycling festival

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By now we’re all dreaming about this summer, with the return of live events, pubs and festivals.

If it’s festivals you’re after, then look no further than Velio, a brand-new event celebrating life on two wheels.

Its debut festival is arriving in the North West this September, with three days and nights of cycling, immersive rides, music, comedy, food and drink, wellness and good times – and tickets are on sale now.

Located at the beautiful Cholmondeley Castle in the countryside of Malpas, Cheshire, Velio will be the first event in a series of pioneering cycling festivals created to provide unrivalled experiences on and off the saddle.

Both riders and non-riders can come down to enjoy the entertainment and feasts.

There will be different cycling routes and lengths for all ages, from the beginner to experienced riders, including the headline Velutopia ride – a 14km long stretch on closed roads filled with immersive entertainment, it’s a world-first cycling festival experience.

Velio

The unrivalled cycling experience will be made up of five routes – 3km,14km, 30km, 60km and 100km – and will cater from beginner to experienced riders, as well as including disabled cycling options and mini kids rides.

Velio festival will have entertainment, music and comedy, with a carefully crafted programme of international music artists, comedians and immersive moments across five stages.

Renowned vocal group Sister Sledge will be taking over the centre stage alongside fellow headliners Everything Everything. Also soundracking the mainstage will be a range of live acts including Elder Island and The Futureheads, as well as stellar DJ sets from Friendly Fires and Norman Jay MBE.

Velio

Expect a host of incredible tribute performances including The Bootleg Beatles and Da Funk (Daft Punk Tribute), as well as Mr Motivator getting the party started on the main stage.

The infamous La Discotheque will host their own stage with acts such as Crazy P Soundsystem and Disco Classics – featuring a live orchestra, with their fabulous flamingos, soul sergeants and queens to match.


Comedian Jason Manford will be providing a laugh a minute on the comedy stage presented by Altitude Comedy Festival with a stream of cherry-picked comedians, including Marcus Brigstocke, Shappi Khorsandi and Lou Conran.


The Velio Village presents a programme of day and nighttime immersive entertainment. This open-air village will play host to an eclectic mix of brass bands, DJs, cabaret & burlesque, a late-night jazz cafe, film screenings, karaoke, kids entertainment, chill out areas and much more.

Communal feasting will be at the heart of the festival with The Great Village Feast, with award-winning restaurant Volta collaborating to produce the banquets at the festival.

Foodies will enjoy long table communal feasts championing the finest local produce, while speciality bars serve up a variety of tempting tipples ranging from wine and gin to craft beers and cocktails.

Velio

Included in all tickets is standard camping for 3 days and 3 nights with access to a spacious campsite, toilets and showers. Motorhomes and campervans are welcomed, and you can also arrive to pre-erected tents.

For an enhanced camping experience, the boutique village offers a range of Bell, Lotus or Mahal tents for 2 to 8 people. All feature memory foam mattresses, premium bedding, bedside lights and tables as standard, with optional upgrades of electricity, toiletries, mirrors, and towels available.

Boutique village campers also enjoy exclusive access to speciality food vendors and bars in the area, along with VIP toilets and showers.

Velio

The onsite secure and insured bike storage system will negate any concerns about storing your pride and joy, while the bike cleaning and maintenance stations will make sure your ride is looking tip-top and podium ready.

If you don’t have a bike or don’t want to bring your own, a bike rental service is available on site. There are also physios and coaches on hand to offer tips and advice and make sure you’re fully geared up for some cycling fun and frolics. .

Add in yoga and meditation in the Cholmondeley gardens, plus wood-fired hot tubs, and you’ve got a unique and unforgettable festival experience.

Velio

Ed Norris, curator said: “We’re on a mission to get more people into cycling and bring it’s wholehearted culture to the world.

“Now more than ever we need the ability to switch off, connect with others and live a balanced lifestyle, at Velio we’re here to help celebrate the good times, indulge your senses and embrace the cycling culture.

“Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, our community is open.”

Velio

In addition to being the first immersive cycling festival, Velio is proud to be the first ‘Flexi-Distanced’ festival. All the measures and teams are in place to run the event socially distanced or non socially distanced, whichever the guidelines dictate, so you can book in confidence.

The comprehensive programme of activities and entertainment ensures there is something for all ages and disciplines at Velio, whether you’re a late-night dancer, an early morning meditator, a weekend feaster or a mid-week rider.

Pioneering a community spirit is also paramount, so we’re calling for you to get out the bike, get out of the city and gear up for an unforgettable weekend of cycle fuelled fun with family and friends, both old and new. 

Velio

Tickets went on sale on Wednesday April 14th, with prices starting from just £150 (with the 25% discount code) for the entire three days and nights including camping.

Grab your tickets here, with 25% off available until Sunday April 18th.

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